Austin Hinnant said his son Cannon was riding his bike the night of Sunday, Aug. 9, as he often did in the front yard.
Cannon's two sisters were there with him. Austin was inside when he heard the gunshot.
"And I just scooped him up in my arms and held him and held him and screamed, 'Somebody please help me save my son! Help me save my son, please!'" Austin told WRAL.
Austin said he saw his neighbor, 25-year-old Darius Sessoms, in the yard next door with a gun in his hand and pacing frantically.
"I was looking at him as I was picking up Cannon. I was so full of rage, but I couldn't leave my son's side. I wanted to be with my son," he said.
Austin's fiancee called 911.
Sessoms was arrested the next day and charged with murder.
Austin says that the night before the shooting, he had Sessoms over for dinner. They sat on the porch and drank a beer together, Austin described.
"There wasn't anything between me and him -- any bad blood whatsoever -- for him to have a reason to do this," he said.
The funeral for Cannon was on Thursday.
"They can't imagine what it's like to hold your son in your arms with a gunshot wound to the head, and his blood is running down your arms," Austin said.
Police have not released details on a motive.
'He meant the world to me': Family, friends honor life of Cannon Hinnant, 5-year-old boy shot and killed while riding bike in North Carolina